10/05/2012 3:12PM

Keeneland: Craving Carats targets rebound in Bourbon Stakes

Tom Keyser
Craving Carats will try to earn a fees-paid berth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf with a win in the Bourbon Stakes.

LEXINGTON, Ky. – As if Dale Romans doesn’t have enough good horses in his barn right now – think Dullahan, Shackleford, Little Mike, Silver Max, and a few more – the veteran trainer is looking to have some of his 2-year-olds start crashing those elite ranks.

One of his top hopes in that category is Craving Carats, a Street Sense colt who figures as one of the middling wagering choices in a wide-open 22nd running of the Grade 3, $150,000 Bourbon Stakes on Sunday at Keeneland.

“I think he’s a really nice colt, and I’m looking for him to have a better finish than that last race at Saratoga,” Romans said.

Craving Carats, with Kent Desormeaux to ride, will be trying to rebound off a tough-trip eighth in the Aug. 30 With Anticipation Stakes on the Saratoga turf. He was assigned post 12 in the Bourbon, a 1 1/16-mile turf race that serves as a Win and You’re In event toward the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf at Santa Anita. However, two of the horses drawn inside of him – Joha (post 1) and Balance the Books (post  6) – were cross-entered in the Breeders’ Futurity here Saturday, and both of their respective trainers said Friday they were still undecided as to which race they would choose, pending weather.

Whatever the case, the Bourbon has no clear-cut favorite, with another half-dozen more meriting consideration. In all, 14 were entered, although only as many as 12 can start.

[KEENELAND: Get PPs, watch Sunday's full card live]

Besides Balance the Books and Joha, the respective one-two finishers in the With Anticipation, other logical players include Ruler of Love, a minor stakes winner at Kentucky Downs last out for Joan Scott; Brown Almighty, entered off sharp back-to-back stakes efforts at Louisiana Downs; and three colts entered off two-turn maiden turf victories at Saratoga – Fredericksburg, Sonofasamurai, and Slamarama.

Romans also has two of the longer shots in the lineup in Summit County, fifth behind Ruler of Love in his latest, and Roman’s Avenue, unraced since finishing well back as the 5-2 second choice in the Bashford Manor Stakes more than three months ago.

The Bourbon directly precedes the Juddmonte Spinster Stakes as the seventh of nine Sunday races, with post time set for 4:17 p.m. Eastern.

The 2011 Bourbon winner was Animal Spirits, who prevailed only after front-running Here Comes Frazier crashed into the inner rail in midstretch in a memorably bizarre episode.